Hiking season is upon us, and that means it’s time to buy your voluntary Hike Safe Card … your back up plan in the great outdoors!
Every purchase supports NH Fish and Game search and rescue efforts.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department sells voluntary Hike Safe Cards for $25 per person and $35 per family. People who obtain the cards are not liable to repay rescue costs if they need to be rescued due to negligence on their part. The card is valuable for anyone hiking, paddling, cross country skiing or engaging in other outdoor recreation. An individual may still be liable for response expenses if they are deemed to have recklessly or to have intentionally created a situation requiring an emergency response.
Is it worth the twenty-five bucks? I think so. NH Fish and Game gave this example. A Michigan man injured during a 2012 hike was required by state courts to pay the cost of his rescue, as state Fish and Game officials charged him $9,200 to recover their rescue costs after a judge found him negligent while hiking.
According to Conway Fire and Rescue Chief Steve Solomon, whose department deals with hikers on several Mount Washington Valley mountains, “Rescuing someone from a trail usually requires 12 to 20 people with specialized equipment for eight to 10 hours, and that can quickly run into thousands of dollars.”
How to purchase Hike Safe Cards
- Buy your 2016 card online at Fish and Game’s license sales site
- Print and mail application
- Purchase at the N.H. Fish and Game Department in Concord (directions)
People who possess a current New Hampshire Fish and Game hunting or fishing license, or a current registration for an off-highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile or boat, are already exempt from repaying rescue costs due to negligence.